2020 will be remembered the year of Covid for millions of people throughout the world. It has brought so much pain, loneliness, separation and anxiety to us all. Its a year that could have truly broken us.
But with its creeping shadows of fear 2020 gifted the women of Newquay with the flipside of the darkness. The ocean opened up her salty arms and like returning to the womb we were held in her embrace. And in that feeling of coming home the light of support, hope, fun, charity and opportunity was lit.
Starting with a small group, soon the ripples of joy, excitement, camaraderie, laughter and friendship spread far and wide.
The waves of women embracing the ocean were like the sets that roll into shore. Lockdown brought lulls, but like a storm of Sirens the sisters of the sea were unleashed. Wave after wave of women were reborn in the ocean. Women who hadn’t dared undress in front of their partners were stripping off and walking proudly down the beaches. The joy and laughter that radiates is as palpable as the lightening in a stormy sky. Just as our bodies tingle with the cold water rush so does the air resonate with a frisson of excitement as we walk into the ocean..
There is support, there is respect, a mutual understanding, a feeling of solidarity. All ages, all walks of life, all social and political and religious spectrum stand together and let the ocean embrace us, cleanse us, renew us and reset.
The days are gone when wetsuits were the clothing of choice en route to the beach. Now from dawn till dusk there is a steady stream of women, in their various branded waterproof robes, dressing gowns and the occasional ski suit wandering through town heading to the sea. Like VW owners it feels like a club when you see them. Always a hello, a nod and a smile and ‘Have a good swim’.
The waves of the ocean are brought to us by the winds of change. Us women, this year, are riding the storm of the century with a style and grace, vigour and vitality that springs deep from within us all.
If, this time last year, someone had said the women of Newquay would be enjoying the ocean and all of its gifts they would have been laughed out of the room. But here we are, not only enjoying it, but being empowered by it.
We are having fun! Tossing our heads back and laughing full and true belly laughs. In a year when we couldn’t hug or be close we have come together like a force of nature and shown the true love and support that only the child of the Ocean and Goddess can give. Like a team of cheerleaders we have held each other up, strengthened together whilst being physically at a distance. So despite not having the physical contact of family and friends the sea has embraced us with a salty hug and a million kisses as the bubbles of energy, of life itself, showered over us and reminded us we are as one with our Earth, with ourselves and with each other.
We found ourselves in the sea…and the sea set us free.
We are sisters of the sea.
We are Swimminwimmin.
Instagram as @maidinnewquay